Meet the Junior Tearing It up in Australia: Macy Callaghan

Daniel Jenks

Macy Callaghan is on a tear. Less than two months into the season she's managed to snag wins at two Junior events and a QS. At just 15, Callaghan is steamrolling her way onto the competitive circuit not only with talent, but a veteran vision of what it takes to succeed.

She's surrounded by a support system that includes her parents, a coach, and a manager. She's keeping her attention on school even while she pursues her surfing goals. Callaghan is on the verge of leaving the amateur world behind, and given her recent success, her professional career looks promising. Get to know the girl behind the snap.

Macy Macy Callaghan, straight into the lip and onto the podium at the Subway Pro Juniors earlier this year at her home in Avoca Beach. - WSL

WSL: It's been a breakout start to the season for you, tell us about your surfing journey from your first surf until now?
Macy Callaghan: My first surf was when I was about three and I went doubles with my dad on a longboard! I was always in the water as a little kid, but I actually body-boarded a lot until I was about five and then I started surfing by myself! I started competing when I was about eight and I got instantly hooked on the whole competing scene! I was super stoked on surfing so I kept on practicing and surfing heaps and here I am--now at 15 with some great results! I'm super stoked!

WSL: What have you learned over the last few seasons that you attribute to your current success?
Callaghan: Over the past few seasons I have really just learned to believe in myself. I struggled a lot with not believing in myself and it had a big affect on my results and surfing. But I guess it's all apart of the sport and there's always going to be ups and downs but I have definitely overcome that little issue and I'm feeling really mentally strong.

Macy Callaghan Callaghan made it to Round 6 at the Taggart Women's Pro QS6,000 where she competed against CT surfer Nikki Van Dijk. - WSL / Bennett
My mum usually travels everywhere with me and is always there for me no matter what. And my dad works so hard to get me to every comp and is the reason why I started surfing.

WSL: Tell us about your support crew, who are the people that help you at each event and what advice do they usually offer?
Callaghan: Well my number one supporters would definitely have to be my mum and dad! My mum usually travels everywhere with me and is always there for me no matter what. And my dad works so hard to get me to every comp and is the reason why I started surfing. Also, my coach Matt Graingerm we have been working together for about two years now and he has literally taken me under his wing like one of his own kids. I go down to the Northern beaches once or twice a week and train with him in the surf and in the gym. He also comes to some of my comps and helps me out before heats. Matt is always there for me no matter what even if I'm on the other side of the country he will always ring me after each heat and talk about my heat/day. And Sasha Stocker is my go-to-guy when it comes to sponsors, surfboards, surf trips and comps. Sasha is my manager, mentor and good friend, [I met him] when I was about 12 and we have formed a great relationship. When ever I'm up on the coast I go and spend time with him and talk about surfboards, sponsors and go surfing. Both Matt and Sasha tell me to have fun with my surfing and to keep things simple but go BIG!

Macy Callaghan Callaghan surfing is beyond her years, but she's working through challenges as her body tries to catch up. - WSL

WSL: What's the biggest challenge you have faced in your young career and why?
Callaghan: The biggest challenge would definitely have to be growing. I have been suffering really bad growing pains in my legs, knees, hips and back. It's had a huge impact on my surfing, because I grow out of my boards very quickly and sometimes it actually hurts to surf. But I'm young so it's just apart of life and I am just working around it. It's becoming a lot easier to manage.

WSL: What's the end goal?
Callaghan: My end goal is to make surfing my full time job! I definitely want to make the Tour and also hopefully win a World Title one day!!

Macy Callaghan Macy Callaghan bringing the heat at the 2016 Taggart Women's Pro. - WSL / Grant Sproule

WSL: Tell us about growing up in Avoca Beach, what's life like at home with the family?
Callaghan: Growing up in Avoca is so good. The community is pretty small so everyone is like family. There is only one road in and one road out so it's a pretty special place! I love spending time at home with my family and surfing the local beaches and hanging with all of my friends! There's no place like home!

WSL: Tell us three words other people use to describe you.
Callaghan: Big-blue-eyes.

Macy Callaghan Callaghan has competed in every QS in Australia so far this season, on top of the Junior events. Here she is at the Carve Pro. - WSL

WSL: What female surfers do you look up to the most and why?
Callaghan: Words can't really describe how much I admire Steph Gilmore! Haha. Ever since I was about nine-years-old Steph has really changed they way I see surfing. Steph's surfing is definitely the best in the business! Her speed, power, flow and style really catches my eye! I always watch clips of Steph surfing and try and copy that in my surfing. Not only her surfing is amazing, she is also a great role model for girls surfing and just girls in general. Steph has showed that girls can be just has good as the boys and we can achieve massive things and she's also a really nice girl.

WSL: What's the worst travel experience you've ever had?
Callaghan: My worst travel experience was in 2014 on a trip to Lakey Peak. On the very first day of the trip I had a pretty heavy motor bike crash and got some pretty bad burns! I was also over without my parents on an all boys surf trip so i couldn't really be to much of a girl and cry about it haha. Even though I couldn't surf for a few days I still managed to get a couple of fun surfs in.

Macy A style like her idol Steph Gilmore, with some flair of her own. - WSL /

WSL: What's the hardest part about balancing school and surfing?
Callaghan: The hardest part about balancing school and surfing is definitely trying to find the time to do my work, especially when I'm at a comp or away from home. But my school is really supportive and helps me out so much. My school set up a little program for me and allows me to do all my work on my laptop which is really helpful. They have helped me out so much!

WSL: What will it take to qualify for the CT besides skill and results?
Callaghan: Probably a good head space! There's always going to be people putting you down but you just have to ignore that stuff and keep surfing and having fun! And also keep things simple! You surf because you love it! ... and I definitely love it haha :)